FINANCE

Supervalu posts loss for Q3, lowers full-year outlook

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Supervalu reported a loss for its third quarter, dragged down by falling revenue and asset values, tighter margins and the cost of closing some stores. The grocer cut its full-year outlook based on the poor performance.

Supervalu, which operates Alberstons, Jewel-Osco and other supermarket chains, reported a loss of $202 million for the quarter, compared with net income of $109 million in the same quarter last year.

Supervalu recorded a hefty $252 million in charges during the quarter, mainly to reflect the shrinking value of its brand and other intangible assets. The charges also covered store closing costs, employee severance and other items.

Revenue fell 6% to $8.67 billion.

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FINANCE

IBM: December U.S. online sales up 12%

BY CSA STAFF

Armonk, N.Y. — The U.S. online retail sector delivered double-digit growth in December 2010 compared with the same period last year, according to analytics-based findings by IBM. Online sales were up 12%, with consumers pushing the average order value up from $171.06 to $190.42 for an increase of 11.3%.

IBM’s findings expand on the company’s earlier report that both Black Friday 2010 and Cyber Monday 2010 delivered strong double-digit growth over 2009. Delivered as part of Coremetrics, an IBM Co.’s third annual December Benchmark Report, the analysis of the online retail sector reveals that department stores and health and beauty retailers were both big winners, with online growth in both sectors far outpacing the online retail sector overall. Both sectors reported sales increases of approximately 23% in December 2010 compared with the year-ago period.

In other findings:

Jewelry retailers also reported a significant jump of 18.5% in sales.

Throughout December, 5.6% of all site visits were initiated from a mobile device, a 19% increase over November 2010. Further, 5.5% of all online retail sales came from mobile devices, a 7% increase over November 2010.

"Retailers did a tremendous job of enticing consumers to shop online with a variety of special promotions, guaranteed delivery dates, free or deeply discounted shipping, and up-to-date inventory information,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer, IBM Coremetrics. “Consumers have come to value the ease and convenience of shopping whenever and wherever they please, and are increasingly turning to online sites to research and purchase a variety of products.”

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BevMo! launches technology initiatives to support growth

BY CSA STAFF

Concord, Calif. — Beverages & More has launched a next-generation technology initiative based around NRF/ARTS (Association for Retail Technology Standards) standards coupled with cloud computing and high-performance technology and service providers that include NCR Corp., Verifone, Retail Anywhere, Trevarian, and Anametrix. The initiative (called “ItsMo!” internally) allows for rapid design, adoption and deployment of new technologies.

The specialty retailer, which operates 109 BevMo! stores in the western United States, is implementing the technologies to enhance the customer experience and provide management with a 360degree view of operations anywhere and anytime.

“Leveraging ARTS-compliant solutions is the cornerstone of our ItsMo! Plan as we address various business requirements, including point-of-sale, CRM, and enterprise data warehouse, analytics and payment processing needs,” said Bob Graham, VP/CIO information technology, BevMo!. “By taking the ARTS approach, we have significantly reduced the complexity of delivering solutions to our user community.”

Under the plan, BevMo! will use a combination of hardware, software and services from NCR to enhance point-of-sale operations. The new software includes the NCR Advanced Checkout Solution, which provides ARTS-compliant POSlog transaction data, advanced marketing support and enables a more productive checkout and back office experience. The NCR RealPos 80XRT POS controllers and workstations, including biometric cashier security, a touch-enabled DynaKey cashier display and bi-optic scanners will streamline front-end operations and speed checkout operations.

In addition, NCR’s two-sided thermal printers will provide the ability to print promotions on customer receipts. NCR’s professional services organization is providing consulting and integration services and hardware and software maintenance for new solutions as well as hardware maintenance for the legacy POS platforms.

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